WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCIA) — Amber Oberheim, wife of fallen officer Chris Oberheim, said that while the community has stepped up to support her and her family, the support she’s been given in Washington, D.C. is unlike anything she’s experienced before.
This week, the Oberheims are celebrating National Police Week in the nation’s capital, close to the one-year anniversary of Officer Oberheim’s death. On Thursday, they went to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, where Officer Oberheim’s name has been engraved. They were surrounded by thousands of people who have been through the same thing.
For once, the Oberheims said they fit in.
“At home, it kind of feels like all eyes are on us,” said daughter Hannah Oberheim. “There is nobody locally in our community who has dealt with this before.”
While Hannah Oberheim said the community has been very supportive of them, the loss of an officer is something few can truly understand.
“Every name on the wall is someone we can relate to which has been amazing,” Hannah said. “It helps us heal in a kind of way.”
This isn’t the first wall that Officer Oberheim’s name was been engraved to.
“I don’t know particularly what it is about seeing his name on this wall in particular, it’s so emotionally difficult,” Amber said. “Maybe it’s just seeing all of the names.”
Amber said seeing it in our nation’s capital is significant.
“This experience, while I was somewhat apprehensive, I may have even said that I dreaded it, so far its been fantastic,” Amber said.
Not only were the Oberheims escorted when they landed at the airport, but they’ve seen Officer Oberheim’s squad car in D.C., toured the Capitol Building and have been able to connect with other families who truly get them.
There will be a silent candlelight vigil on Friday where 619 names will be read – the officers who died in 2020 and 2021. 472 of those officers died in 2021, the most officers deaths the country has ever seen in one year.